Officials Defend Fracking in D.C.: Oklahoma Officials Testify at Subcommittee Hearing

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There have been no documented cases of groundwater pollution caused by hydraulic fracturing in Oklahoma and the federal government should leave it up to the states to regulate oil and gas development, Oklahoma Corporation Commission Chairwoman Dana Murphy testified on Wednesday before the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment.

"I know too well the danger of regulation for regulation's sake," Murphy said during a hearing on Capitol Hill on new proposed federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing. "Protection of water and the environment and the beneficial development of oil and gas resources are not mutually exclusive."

The hearing was available via webcast.

Federal regulators should continue to allow states to monitor hydraulic fracturing by the oil and gas industry because of the differing geology and needs of each individual region in the United States, Murphy told lawmakers.

Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency also testified, as well as regulators from other states experiencing a growing amount of oil and gas exploration, thanks to new technological advances in the industry like hydraulic fracturing.

The EPA recently announced that it plans to consider regulating wastewater from hydraulic fracturing under the Clean Water Act and is in the process of gathering information on the matter.

Recent tests have uncovered traces of the chemical element bromine in water in Pennsylvania, which James Hanlon, director of the EPA's Office of Wastewater Management, believes is the product of hydraulic fracturing in the region, he told lawmakers at the hearing. …